Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 130: The X-Pro2 and Cycling with Forwarders.cc
How’s your summer going?
Mine’s going great, but very quickly!
My daughter had her birthday, I’ve just had mine, my family’s been in town and the weather’s been great.
My daughter has an extended holiday as she’s starting a new school in September (which starts term later than the old one)
Her mother has been working flat out, which has left me on child care duties (a duty that’s a source of great happiness to me), my visiting family wanted to do touristy stuff.
So yup you guessed it… Just like last week I’ll be raiding the archives for this weeks’ article.
But don’t fret!! It’s all stuff you haven’t seen before 🙂
Last August I was approached to take part in a project that sought to establish a platform for Portuguese cycling culture.
It was (and still is) an Instagram based project.
The brainchild of João Salvador with collaboration from local road racing cyclists, it was (and still is) an exciting opportunity to be involved with something from the ground up.
We’ve completed several sessions over the past year and I’ve really enjoyed it.
The photography is handled by João and I with a 50/50 split on publication
My initial take aways from the project were
- Damn cyclist people like to start early in the morning
- Hanging out of a moving car and shooting a cyclist is a lot of fun
- My involvement means I’m discovering more of Portugal
Whenever you’re asked (as a photographer) to deliver the vision of another that’s well away from your own comfort zone and your previous work, I personally always find I’m a little anxious to ensure I’m hitting the mark.
After a few ad-hoc ‘on the shoot’ reviews with João I realised what he was looking for and set about trying my best to capture it. I assume I’m doing ok, as it’s been over a year and they haven’t fired me (yet) 😀
To begin with I went into ‘street mode’ which for me tends to mean subject + context = photo
I wanted to show that cycling could be an individual in harmony with the road
When we were close enough I wanted to fill the frame with the entire bicycle/rider
It was at this point that João reviewed my content and we had a little chat… Yes, he said cycling is all of these things, the cyclist and the road. But the point of the project was also to capture the details.
And it turns out there’s a lot of details in cycling…
Cycling is gruelling (and here it’s often 30c/90f + degrees). Faith is needed. Faith in the equipment, faith in the distance and speed measurements, and of course plain old simple faith (the roads are dangerous)
Trinkets and technology combine
Nothing’s so sweet as water to the truly thirsty, simple pleasures take on a deep meaning when paired with necessity
He’s just cycled up a colossal hill that was paved with cobblestones. I was in the back up car 🙂
Brands and brand culture play a role (just like with us photographers 🙂 )
Even the socks are important, and rightly so – nothing worse than uncomfortable feet!
As an ex-motorcyclist I was rather smitten with the carbon wheels 🙂
The frame is carbon too. I wonder who manufacturers it? 😀 😀
This was where I really started to grasp it. To ride so far up, to drink the thirst quenching water, then to be alone with this view, your heart beat slowing post exertion, and knowing that only your own hard work made this happen
Now I’m guessing that some of you may have some questions about the gear (the bicycle gear, not the camera gear) and I’m sorry to have to tell you that I’m pretty clueless about it all! All I can tell you is that this rider’s (Rodrigo) bike weighs perhaps slightly less than my X-Pro2 and my prime trinity in a Billingham small with some filters/batteries/etc and I’m guessing it cost an awful lot more too 🙂
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